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Are vitamin supplements beneficial

banddinbc's picture
banddinbc
Posts: 13
Joined: Jan 2013

My husband is about to start Sutent -- would it be beneficial to be on vitamins or a supplement.

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

Good luck to Don as he starts out on Sutent.  

The first thing to say is do run the idea past his oncologist first to ensure he doesn't take anything that's known to potentially create problems.   Unless he goes overboard on them, he's unlikely to suffer any harm from taking vitamin supplements and may very well derive useful benefits.  

The theory is that we get all the vitamins and other micronutrients we need from a well-balanced diet.  However, the typical modern American diet is appalling (and here in the UK is not perfect either, where we tend to follow on behind US trends).  So, there is a real case to be made for taking vitamins to make good on possible dietary benefits and this is much more important as we get older.  For instance, most older people get out into sunshine less than when younger and suffer the adverse consequences of a resultant vitamin D deficit. 

However, you need to know what it makes sense to choose and doctors are generally uneducated on nutrition which, along with mental health issues, is a sadly overlooked component of medical education.  For instance, most vitamin D preparations come with added calcium and that can be the last thing some people need (cancer patients have their calcium levels checked regularly via blood tests so that can be established for Don).

There are some excellent books on diet and lifestyle for cancer patients, though they can be a bit demanding.

We are lucky in having here a member, "Nano Second", who is on Sutent and who has gone in considerable depth into what he has found to be helpful for him and he has had just about none of the troublesome side-effects that most people have to endure on Sutent.  I hope he may give you a few pointers that might help Don get off to a good start.

NanoSecond's picture
NanoSecond
Posts: 531
Joined: Oct 2012

Thanks, Tex, I was just about to respond when I saw your message.

The short answer is that there are a few vitamins that may be very helpful - but others that, if taken in excess, may actually be detrimental.

No less an authority than Jim (James) Watson, Nobel Prize winner and one of the co-discoverers of the structure of the DNA molecule, recently published a long paper wherein he suggested that an excess of certain anti-oxidants such as Vitamin A (Beta-Carotene) and Vitamin E and many others may actually promote the growth of certain tumors.  His is only a theory at present, but it suggests much further scrutiny and testing.

Vitamin D, on the other hand, is a supplement that is not in doubt.  It can be extremely beneficial.  However, it is one whose level should be monitored by routine (but simple) blood

tests.

I have spent a lot of time researching this and other related issues regarding what I call a "proper" diet and "appropriate" supplements for renal cancer patients.  I am quite happy to share the results of my on-going research (and what I myself am doing) with anyone interested.  It is currently a 37-page .pdf document. 

Email me at: n.feldman@videopost.com and I will be glad to directly send you a copy.

 

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

Thanks, Neil, knew we could depend on you.

banddinbc's picture
banddinbc
Posts: 13
Joined: Jan 2013

Smile   thanks for the speedy reply, so good to have support.

 

 

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